Categories
love

Loving the “unloveable”

It isn’t that hard to love. Is it?

We are clearly capable of loving anything from inanimate objects to fictional characters.

But when we, Christians, are called to love, it is not ordinary love. It is a love that comes from God, because God is love.

And God, who is love, calls us to love our brother – no exception.

What this really means to us is that we should also be able to love what the world considers to be unloveable. Those who people love to hate.

We are called to love Trump, his supporters and haters. Yup!

And we are also called to love the LGBT+ haters in the same way that we love the LGBT+ supporters. No, we are not called to selectively love according with ideology!

We are called to love the rapists. The murderers. The bullies. Only loving their victims is not what we are called to do. For that type of worldly love, we don’t need God.

By loving our brother, we are not condoning what he does. God does not love what we do either. He is a loving Father and, in case you haven’t noticed, he disciplines us.

In a fallen world like ours, can you imagine the consequences of us only loving those who we find to merit our love? I’m sure you can: it’s all around us! That’s what we’re building with our selective love – which really is no love at all!

So if you’re still harbouring hatred in your spirit, pray for God to reveal his love to you.

“We love because He first loved us. If anyone says, I love God, and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother, whom he has seen, cannot love God, whom he has not seen.” 1 John 4:19-20

God can fill you with his grace to change your worldly ways.

The question is: do you want to be healed?

Categories
love

Shine as luminaries in the world

I’d like to share with you an inspiring verse from the new testament. Let God’s grace transform you and enable you to transcend this world everyday. 🙂

Do all things without murmurings and reasonings that you may be blameless and guileless, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and perverted generation, among whom you shine as luminaries in the world. — Philippians 2:14-15

Categories
love

To whom shall we go?

The more I read the gospels, the more I realize how Peter’s reaction to Jesus asking if he also wanted to go away echoes what many of us Christians believe in.

If we wouldn’t follow Jesus, to whom would we go?

Even from a logical standpoint based purely on worldly ideas, there is no one else that is worth following in this world. And things here ain’t getting any better!

I don’t know about you, but I consider myself extremely blessed for believing. Because believing and having faith are not my merit, but the fruit of God’s grace in me.

What have I (and you) done to deserve such a blessing that allows us to transcend the limits and struggles of this lifetime? Nothing!

We are looking at eternal life without any merit whatsoever coming from a world where merit determines who you are, what you can do and how far you can go.

So let’s celebrate the way, the truth and the light everyday through love.

Because God is love.

Categories
love

Love & Grace

I spent most of the year trying not to be dragged by what’s exalted among men. Deep inside, I try to give people a chance to be more than what they appear to be – but this year it really backfired on me.

Most of the struggles I’ve been through this year can be summed up by this passage:

And he said to them, “You are those who justify yourselves before men, but God knows your hearts. For what is exalted among men is an abomination in the sight of God.Luke 16:15

Mostly I experienced first hand how love is dying.

From utilitarian relationships to mystic friendships, I was right in the middle of the generalized lack of love that leads people to mistake comfort for meaning. Self-indulgence for freedom. Pleasure for love.

Nonetheless, it was only when I was crushed that I realized how much I had loved. How much I had forgiven. Even with all the hurt in my soul, I was being strengthened in love by God.

It is absolutely fascinating to feel what seems to be genuine love under the most adverse circumstances. And to think that isn’t even a fraction of how much God loves me – and you!

Ultimately this year has been showing me that all that matters is that I don’t lose my ability to love. And it’s also taught me to be far more cautious about to whom I give this love that is God’s grace upon me.

Grace & Peace 🙂

Categories
god love spirituality

What is life for you?

Monday mornings almost invariably start with “How was your weekend” questions at work. And I can’t help but dislike that. 

For me there is no point in talking about the logistics of life. What I do, where I go. I’m not defined by that. 

Yet most people define themselves and their level of happiness by what they do or don’t do, and with whom, on the weekend.

Monday mornings are a sad reminder of the world we live in and of how people call the mechanics of this world life.

Life, for me, is God – regardless of what I do or don’t do. 

Life, for me, is following Jesus and trying to treat others as if I were him – relying entirely on God’s grace.

Life, for me, is love. And if there is no love in a busy, self-indulgent weekend, then there’s no life. 

Life, for me, is not this life – it is the eternal life that I have, but don’t yet see.

So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal. — 2 Corinthians 4:18

Categories
faith love

Focus on how you can do it right, not on how you are doing it wrong

One of the obstacles for people to live under God’s grace is our paranoid tendency to focus on what we are doing wrong and on ways to fix it ourselves.

Instead what God’s grace allows us to do is to focus on what we can do right.

Once you start focusing on your relationship with God and on loving your neighbour as yourself, which is how God wants us to love him, your choices in life will change.

However, this is the part where the great majority of people, religious and non religious alike, stumble. God’s grace doesn’t free us to be a ‘free run sinner’. It frees us from the weight of our guilt so we can be ‘born again’ and lead a different life.

We still do things wrong under God’s grace. But we are then blessed with repentance, forgiveness and the strength to persevere in wanting to be good regardless of our downfalls.

Categories
god love

Your better is in your worse

The article below is from a Brazilian pastor called Caio Fábio who’s a follower of the spirituality of Jesus Christ and, as such, non-religious. He’s been an inspiration to me.

“It is amazing how the God of all Grace picks up what is good-goodness in us but is being used in a bad way, and by His love transforms it in good-goodness—at least for those who want to see it.

Paul is a good example of this.

He has strategic vision to the point of keeping the clothes of the ones who stoned Stephen.

He is educated to the point of being ahead of others of his age in his generation.

He is articulate and reliable to the point of obtaining a recommendation letter from the Jewish authorities to imprison the ones “who belonged to the Way” who lived in Damascus.

He was stubborn and stiff-necked in his goals to the point of persecuting the ones “of the Way”, even making them blaspheme.

He has mobility and independence in his existence to the point of not being content enough in persecuting the ones of the Way in Israel; he goes hunt them in Damascus, Syria.

He is zealous to the point of taking offense at the faith of the ones of the Way as one would take offense at a blasphemy said against God.

He dreams of the purification of his parents’ faith, and for this reason he persecutes the worst threat his tradition had ever faced: the appearance of the ones of the Way.

But he is reached out by God’s love on the way to a gentiles’ land. He believes by himself, and with independence he goes to the Arabic desert to meditate. He goes deeply and sincerely into the Scripture, which he knew since his childhood, and in it he finds very explicitly what Jesus already had revealed “on the way”. As a free man, Paul goes on his way, not even returning to Jerusalem or to the apostles; and as a man of motion, he goes on to the ends of the earth as a true and wandering Hebrew. As he had been zealous of the law, he became a lover of Grace; as an ex-persecutor, he was able to stand up to persecutions himself. Being stubborn, he did not get intimated; being full of dreams, he dreamed and lived his dream of love for Christ.

A man who was found in the mobility of his way outside of his own boundaries, daring go further. Being inflexible in his goals, he becomes a slave to God’s love and sees all the previous energies in himself being transformed into a loving passion for the world; and he does not fear to live exiled from his own people because he was the first apostle to treat the world as his own parish.

For better or for worse—for good or for evil—we are who we are.

Yes, before good and evil become a choice or an action of ours, we are ourselves.

Yes, we are as a being before good and evil.

There is a “self” in me that can love and be pleased with God’s will. However, its flow of energy goes through “the sin that lives in me”. This is where “the two ways” are—at the crossroads of the heart.

The same man, the same personality traits, the same essence… and two totally different products.

Mindset is a word that has a big existential meaning to Paul, according to Romans 8.

The essence is there …the rest is the mindset … yes, where our minds are set out.

Inside us, every day, lights visit us…
The way to Damascus happens on the ground of our hearts…
But not always we surrender to the light that dazzles us on the way, and we keep going with scales in our eyes.

Paul lets us see that there is nothing which one day was used for evil in us that cannot be transformed into virtue, according to Grace.

Paul was the same. The new mindset was determined by the Light.

Such revelations happen more commonly on the way—where life happens.

Whoever received Christ’s revelation no longer knows the way back.

Whoever used to hate out of zealousness of God now loves all humankind passionately, and knows that hatred is a blasphemy.

Look carefully into your junk—your treasure is in it.

In Him, in whom everything becomes a treasure.”

Caio

From the original: “O SEU MELHOR ESTÁ NO SEU PIOR”
Translated by Sara Machado – Massachusetts, USA
Revised by F. R. Castelo Branco | May 2007
1 Acts 9:2 – NVI
2 Idem, NKJV
https://caiofabio.net/conteudo.php?codigo=00011

Categories
god love

God’s grace undermines ’cause and effect’

The experience of God’s grace in our lives completely undermines the notions of ’cause and effect’. His grace doesn’t touch us because we have been good. And the good things in our lives are not the effect of us being good.

This could easily explain why there are so many religions out there and so many people willing to join them. It is very hard to accept that good and bad things happen to both good and bad people – and that we won’t know why until we’re with God!

We surely do thirst for justice, but sadly we thirst way more for punishment. God’s grace breaks that cycle of perversion and forgives the just and the unjust! How many people do you know would be fine with that? Would you?